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Lethal Ninja (1992)
This is the first movie I've seen where Ninjas use rollerskates with blades sticking out of the sides. Where do they sell those things? I want some.
So the movie is pretty bad, yes. Bad enough to be funny? Sure. It's not the best bad movie out there but it does have its moments. One key bad element is the completely unconvincing fighting on display. There are moments where I know I could have done better, and I have no training in the area whatsoever. Particularly bad is the final showdown at the end. I'm not going to ruin it for you by revealing who's fighting who. I will mention that it was one of the crummiest attempts at portraying a fighting move in the history of cinema.
Another reviewer mentioned the bad acting on the part of the woman who portrays the hero's wife. She is the worst actor in the film, but I quite liked her scenes. She managed to deliver each of her lines in such a way that any dramatic tension that could have existed was vanquished. She's fun. Troll II, anyone? She could easily fit in there.
It's not all the fault of bad acting, either. Some of the attempts at buddy-picture humor between the main guy and his kickboxing friend are dead at the script level.
If you like bad movies, go ahead and check this one out. And stay tuned to the end, because immediately before the credits we are treated to stirring orchestral music while we see clips from the film we've just watched followed by the title, LETHAL NINJA. I think they want to you feel like you've just watched an 80-minute epic.
Il giorno del Cobra (1980)
"I don't give a damn, I am the Cobra." That is a terrific theme song. Too bad the rest of the movie doesn't come close to High Crime or Street Law. But Day of the Cobra has its moments. Most of these moments are courtesy of Franco Nero. This guy is fun to watch even if he's just endlessly running or descending stairs. I was pretty entertained for about the first third of the film. After that, the plot started to lose some of its sparkle. The whole father/son subplot where we cut to scenes of Nero and his son playing baseball or discussing how they'll "be together forever" just didn't seem to fit. Overall, a good film but not the best Nero/Castellari collaboration.
Not too shabby
You gotta love a movie that's set during the last days of the Vietnam war yet the clubs and radios play 80's music. I know, nobody watches these films for realism, they watch them for...what DO they watch them for again?
Well, this was made after two other Margheriti war films, The Last Hunter(1980) and Tiger Joe(1982). Tornado is the weakest of the three, but not by as much as I expected it would be. Timothy Brent/Giancarlo Prete is a pretty decent lead.
You want to know about the story? Some lunatic army commander regularly makes decisions that lead to the injury/death/abandonment of his men yet nobody really gets on his case about it until a hotshot superstar green beret has had enough and punches him in the nose. Then the hotshot is arrested by the MP, but the vietcong attack and the vehicle he's in is damaged and he manages to escape. From there on, it's a battle of wills between the hotshot who hates the commander and the commander who feels that if the hotshot does escape, it would reflect well on the commander, because he trained the hotshot, but the commander wants him dead anyway. Even though the war has been officially declared over.
It's good to see Luciano Pigozzi (aka Allan Collins) pop up here (it seems like he's in all of these) but his role is fairly boring.
The ending sort of came out of nowhere. I read an interview with Margheriti and he claimed that the ambiguity of who did what to a certain someone in the final shot (I'm trying to avoid spoilers here) was intentional. Well it made me laugh, and I don't think that was intentional.
Impatto mortale (1984)
I love this movie!
Yeah, this is a B-movie and it isn't terribly original. A computer whiz figures out a way to monitor the machines at various Las Vegas casinos and he and his girlfriend make a killing. Some thugs get interested and kidnap them and force them to give them the ill-gotten money. The rest of the film consists of Bo Svenson (a cop) and Fred Williamson (a helicopter pilot for hire) trying to track down the thugs and recover the money.
Fred and Bo make a great team, and even though the buddy-formula is cliched, they make it work. The chase scenes are ridiculously long, but they are completely entertaining. And the score, what can I say about that insane score? It pops up in so many variations throughout the film and I cannot get it out of my head.
Some bad films I watch just to laugh at. Somehow this is a bad film that makes me feel like I'm laughing with it.
I do realize that I may be the only one in the world who loves this film. It also contains the most insane scene involving made-up computer gibberish ever (so it just changed from an 'A' to a 'B'?). You gotta love Bo Svenson.
Johnny Hondo, one man army
Bad. Avoid. Oh, I suppose I should be more specific. This isn't really a direct sequel to War Bus. The first one took place in Vietnam, this one takes place in Afghanistan. And if you've seen the first one, you know that this can't really be the same bus anyway. The two films share none of the same characters. First, I should explain that I love bad, silly, cheesy movies that make me laugh. That is why I sought this out. C'mon, it's got Mark Gregory! Thunder from Thunder Warrior I-III! Trash from 1990:Bronx Warriors & Escape from the Bronx! My hopes were set high, and I was completely disappointed. The first War Bus was a solid, albiet unrealistic, war flick. This one is boring. There's not a whole lot to laugh at and there are but a few fleeting glimpses of competence. So if you're looking for a good war film, rent the first War Bus instead. If you're looking for a good Mark Gregory film, THIS IS NOT IT. But hey, if you're reading this, you'll probably ignore me and just watch it anyway. I understand, I'd do the same thing.
Un maledetto soldato (1988)
Solid shoot-em-up entertainment
This is not the funniest war movie ever made, don't believe that for a second. I found this an enjoyable way to waste 90 minutes. The acting is bad? I didn't think so. You want bad acting, watch Troll 2. Bad special effects? Wrong again. Actual things actually blow up real good. I liked the characters as well. No, it isn't realistic. You want realism, go watch Band of Brothers. This film is just fun, that's it. The dialogue isn't laugh-inducing, either. Do yourself a favor and skip the sequel, though. Even the brilliant Mark Gregory can't save that one.
Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)
Two costumes are better than one
I just saw this at the cheap theater, and I'll just say it wasn't good and leave it at that. There was an element of the movie that amused me, and scanning through the 50 previous posts here, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it yet. The killer wears fencing garb, right? The killer obviously wears the outfit & fencing mask to disguise his/her identity (I won't spoil the thrilling surprise of who the killer is, even though the red herrings are so abundant it could have been anybody). Okay, the disguise is fine, the masked killer is a fine old slasher tradition and the fencing gear is a new costume. Here's the funny part: at two different points, the killer puts another disguise ON TOP OF the fencing disguise. Once the killer puts a monster mask OVER the fencing mask. Another time the killer dresses up like a miner, donning a cowboy-type felt hat ON TOP OF the fencing mask. Huh? I guess the fencing gear was for the audience, so we didn't get confused and think that there were two or more killers. Then, for variety, the killer decides to put on another costume for the victims, presumably, although that doesn't make much sense, either.
VICTIM: Ohmygod! A miner is coming to kill me with a pickaxe!
(The killer removes the miner's hat)
VICTIM: Ohmygod! It's really someone in a fencing outfit with a pickaxe coming to kill me!
If you insist on seeing this movie (as I foolishly did), at least keep your eye out for that. It's funny, and perhaps the movie's only saving grace.
End of the World (1977)
Grade Z Science Fiction
End of the World is an uneventful movie, which is odd since it is supposed to be about the total destruction of the earth. The main character is some kind of scientist, I'm not exactly sure what kind. He has two jobs at a government(?) facility guarded by four security men. His first job is monitoring transmissions to and from space (although this actually seems more like a hobby he does when not working on job #2). Job #2 requires him to put on a protective suit and go into a dark room...at least that's the best I can figure. Apparently the "plant" is not exactly top-secret, as the scientist brings his wife there. She hangs out (they're on their way to a dinner) while he discovers a message from space: Major Earth Disruption, repeated over and over. He says something about it being the first message from space he's ever been able to decipher; his wife tells him they're going to be late for the dinner party. So they leave and go to the party (!?!). Moments later he finds out that China has suffered a major earthquake. From there, the movie goes... nowhere! Yes, Christopher Lee is in it, but that really doesn't help much. Besides, Lee gives a lackluster performance along the lines of his appearance in Howling II. This movie is boring, but it has enough stupid elements that you might want to suffer through it once if you like Christopher Lee or Z-grade sci-fi. Plus, there's lots of stock footage of the earth being destroyed.
bad movie! go to your room!
I hated this movie. I laughed a few times, but they were laughs born out of painful disbelief. Out of the current wave of monster attack movies (Lake Placid, Deep Blue Sea, Anaconda), Bats is by far the worst. Yes, Bats is even worse than King Cobra! Filled with cliches (the evil mad scientist) and unbelievably stupid actions on the part of the heroes, Bats has to go down in history as one of the bottom 20 most idiotic horror movies I have ever seen. The stupidest scene: after the bats attack the police and attempt to enter the police vehicle and kill the occupants, the bats mysteriously fly away. Now, it is still night, right? But for some reason, the cop/scientist/government team that was just attacked hang out in the open and discuss tactics, right there where they were just attacked, in the middle of the night with no defenses! This movie is filled with stupid scenes like that and with multiple, overlong "gearing-up" scenes. To give this movie a little credit, the bats themselves act ridiculous when attacking, but they aren't as funny-looking (to put it mildly) as the creatures in say, Hobgoblins or (my personal favorite) The Sea Serpent.
Crystania no densetsu (1995)
an epic in 80 minutes
I recently rented this on DVD and first I want to say how happy I am that ADV, the company that released this, is providing the option of watching these movies in japanese with english subtitles. I personally do not enjoy watching dubbed movies, but often I find there is no other option. About the movie: the DVD contains an advertisement for the series, which I have not seen, but this "motion picture" seems complete in itself. The animation was not spectacular, but it wasn't too bad, either. I loved the story and characters. The movie felt like an epic, even though it runs only 80 or so minutes. A boy sees his father, a pacifist king, murdered by his own elite guard, and is run out of the kingdom. He heads off to gather power for revenge but soon finds himself in the land of the gods in an entirely different adventure filled with a mythos all its own. If you enjoy these movies at all, check this one out. There is little blood and no sex, so go elsewhere if that's what you're seeking.